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How Important Is Exercise Order?

how important is excercise order… i’m my case, let’s say i’m doig this in a workout: squats, dips, incline DB press, overhead pressing. (that’s my A workout - my B workout,btw, is: deadlifts, pullups, chest-supported BB rows, side lateral raises). does it matter if i have dips before incline DB, or would it be somehow better if it were vice-versa? this a good workout to begin with?

Whatever lift or muscle group is most important to you should be done first. It’s called the priority principle. If you want to focus more on lower chest/ triceps than do dips. If you’d like to focus more on upper chest, do incline bench first. There’s no right or wrong order.

thanks for the reply. so that’s all there is to it, huh?

more questions:

  • what would be a good set/rep scheme in this case?
  • would doing a low incline and a high incline (20 and 70, say) be similar to doing incline and overhead (45 and 90) but with more emphasis on chest for example? would one recommened over the other?

You could always change up the order of the exercises, unless you are specilazing on a body part. It gives you the opportunity to perform the moves fresh once in awhile. Other than that, do the compound moves first and work down to any isolation moves that may be in your program.

One approach is to put the most technically difficult exercises first to reduce risk of injury.

Going from compound to isolation is pretty much the way to go.

Some people say you should do the largest compound movements first (Squats before pull-ups) in order to get the most hormones in your body flowing right from the start.

That’s seems like pretty sound logic to me, but I order my compound movements in whatever way that lets me do the most weight.

Sometimes people do isolation machine exercises with light weight to warm up for compound lifts. I find the hamstring machine along with bodyweight lunges a good warm up for the hamstrings.

Too me, it’s very important. I have everything in a particular order-All my lifts where strength is the main focus, I do first. An example would be how I always start Chest day with Flat Bench Press, give my chest a break with Pullovers, and hit it again with Incline Bench Press (Then flyes and so forth).

Same with any other day (i.e. Standing Curls before Preachers, Deadlifts before Row exercises, Squats before extensions).

[quote]russianmuscle wrote:
thanks for the reply. so that’s all there is to it, huh?

more questions:

  • what would be a good set/rep scheme in this case?
  • would doing a low incline and a high incline (20 and 70, say) be similar to doing incline and overhead (45 and 90) but with more emphasis on chest for example? would one recommened over the other?[/quote]

Again, there’s really no right or wrong when it comes to set/rep scheme. They all work to a degree and eventually you will have to change them all.

I would say 4x6 and 3x12. The most important thing is to make progress either by adding a rep to each set, increasing sets done, or the old standby, increasing weight.

Yes to your second question. A low incline would hit almost the same muscles as a flat bench ie mostly chest. A 70 degree incline would hit you upper chest and shoulders about equally.

Again, one is not better than the other because it all depends on your goals. If you would like to hit your chest more do the 20 and 70. If you would like to hit your upper chest and shoulders more, do the 45 and the 90.

As a general rule, I’ve always been told to start with the exercise that works the most body parts, and then go down from there. Compound / Combo lifts to start and then taper down to simple / target muscle lifts.

[quote]HandOfGod wrote:
As a general rule, I’ve always been told to start with the exercise that works the most body parts, and then go down from there. Compound / Combo lifts to start and then taper down to simple / target muscle lifts. [/quote]

Always a good idea. And to take it one step further, here’s another way of structuring your workouts:

  1. Olympic movements first (snatch, clean, jerk)
  2. Compound, multi-joint exercises (squat, bench, deadlift, chin, row, dip, overhead press)
  3. Unilateral exercises (dumbbell work, one-legged exercises)
  4. Bodyweight exercises
  5. Isolation exercises

[quote]HandOfGod wrote:
As a general rule, I’ve always been told to start with the exercise that works the most body parts, and then go down from there. Compound / Combo lifts to start and then taper down to simple / target muscle lifts. [/quote]

That’s a good general rule in most cases. I would also add that its best to do exercises where maintaining technique is most difficult very early in the workout before you’re worn out. For example, if you’ve got olympic lifts planned for a workout, you should get them done first since enough fatigue will kill your form in no time.

So for the workouts you mentioned, IMO, squat should be the lead off for the first and deadlifts should be the lead offs for the second because not only do they work the most muscle groups, but they also call for the strictest level of attention to form.

Rep scheme would be very dependent on your training level and goals. I personally currently prefer sets of 5 reps or less on compounds and sets of 8 or less on simpler isolation exercises.